Ladyjacks will taken on Green Bay, South Dakota and North Dakota in round-robin event.
A former Ladyjack setter from 2003-06, Lauren ‘LA’ Lanford is set to begin her seventh season as assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin in 2017. Since returning to Nacogdoches, Texas, prior to the start of the 2011 season, Lanford has been an integral component in guiding the Ladyjacks to five-straight above-.500 campaigns, four 20-win seasons as well as a 2014 Southland Conference regular season title.
In 2016, Lanford worked with freshman setter Ann Hollas and helped the collegiate rookie earn the title of Southland Conference Freshman of the Year. Hollas stepped in as the Ladyjacks' full-time setter midway through September and never gave up that post while averaging 8.34 assists per set. Hollas was the first Ladyjack to be named the Southland Conference Freshman of the Year since Lauren Railey earned that distinction in 2005.
During the Ladyjacks' 2014 campaign, Lanford played a key role in developing 2015 graduate and standout setter Paige Holland into one of the top setters in SFA history in terms of career assists and assists per set.
Lanford's assistance in prepping Holland helped the 2014 Ladyjacks to their first Southland Conference championship since 2007, with the squad finishing undefeated at 16-0 in conference play. The ‘Jacks 24 total wins were its most since 2009, and five SFA student-athletes earned All-Southland recognition. Holland, outside hitter Jill Ivy, and middle blockers Jacque Allen and Justice Walker earned first team nods.
Following a successful playing career at SFA, Lanford spent time as a student assistant coach in 2007 with SFA and helped lead the Ladyjacks to a share of their fourth-consecutive Southland Conference title and a 27-8 overall record.
During her playing days she was part of three Southland Conference championship squads and was named to the Southland Conference All-Tournament Team in 2006, helping take the Ladyjacks to the NCAA Tournament. As the setter, she helped lead SFA to an upset of Alabama for the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win with a 3-2 victory.
She finished her career with nearly 1,300 assists and averaged a career-high 9.4 assists per set as a freshman in 2003.
Prior to joining the coaching staff at SFA, Lanford served as an academic advisor at Arkansas State, a position she accepted following a stint as a graduate assistant at SFA in student services. She holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from SFA.
Lanford and her husband Joey are the parents of a two-year-old daughter, Reese.